Waking up to the Northern Lights in Iceland

It’ll be like this: You’ll sit in a hot tub under the starry sky that night and talk about the months and years and dreams to come before cuddling up in that wooden room in the attic. That night someone will wake you up just before midnight and say, “Err, Northern Lights!” two hours before you leave for the airport, and you’ll throw a scarf and jacket over your pyjamas, clumsily walk down the stairs and maybe swear a little.

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The perks of having no plan at all

The best plan to have when visiting a city that is almost too popular and has been photographed a couple billion times is to leave your guide books at home. That is as true for Paris as it is for the area around the Parc Güell, Barcelona. Allowing you to get lost gives you the right amount of freedom, a curiosity to discover beauty in places that aren’t on your map and to dive right into local oddities. Especially from a photography point of view, that is what makes traveling so compelling and unpredictable.

While this is a collection of photos from all corners of the Barcelona – most of whom I found by accident -, I want to draw the attention to two exhibitions that I managed to visit despite the heat on the streets and the resulting urge to spend every spare second on the beach. The art gallery Arts Santa Monica is just off the city’s main shopping street La Rambla and always has a wide range of different photo exhibitions. The one I chose was called From Here On – Post-Photography in the Age of the Internet and the Mobile Telephone and although experimental art is always worthwhile and exciting, I found the installation rather depressing. Pieces were based on Google Map images, on TV shows and all the digital buzz that takes away the experimental energy and turns it into something really superficial and futuristic. Hey photography, please don’t ever becomes a medium whose content comes from cyberspace and digital sources only. Thanks.

The other, slightly more enjoyable exhibition was a cosy show by the very talented Silvia Conde who took some photos at flea markets in Berlin last summer. You can take a look at the brilliant and quirky photos here. The exhibition was in front a huge co-working space and had a bunch of creatives as background asset. So – photography is only the beginning of something that can only be crazily exciting.

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Soho Nights

Soho is not exactly regarded as London‘s most beautiful area, yet it might arguably be among its most vibrant, most fascinating and most eccentric spots. In the past weeks I’ve found myself spend a huge amount of time on these cobbled streets between Marylebone and Mayfair, during both day and night time.

Have a look at the crazy range of people who queue before numerous clubs and bars, at the skateboarder who jumps away from an approaching car just in time and at the woman who stares out of a pub’s window. What might she have been thinking!? To me, Soho is hugely fascinating and dramatic at the same time. It’s full of tragedy, full of joy and full of a buzzing energy – especially from Thursdays to Sundays. Therefore, these photos are supposed to be a tad more documentary than aesthetically beautiful.

On that note, I have two little recommendations for you: During the day, check Café Flat White on Berwick Street out if you fancy a quiet read as well as amazing (!) coffee and go to 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street if you feel like an evening full of unforgettable music…

An excerpt from a few colorful London nights

I must admit that after our clock hands have passed a certain time, London’s streets feel a little dead, regardless of whether it’s a week day’s or a Friday night. However, the part that luckily is alive until the early morning hours certainly makes up for the lack of energy outside. Get inspired by some of my fave places or jot yours down in the comment box!

A fun night in Hoxton can start with a few cocktails at The Breakfast Club, some lounging in its huge sofas and some deep conversation while you can still hear each other’s voice. That’s a gift and should be appreciated at all times! For a bit of action, head a few streets down to Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, where people  will dance to everything, just join in! They also regularly host amazing gig nights with gorgeous finger food and a very diverse and trendy audience. This time it was Me and My Drummer who do sound a lot like good old Florence, just a tad more raw and experimental.

If you’re up to giving your night a cultural and sophisticated direction, jump in the tube for marvelling at South Kensington’s beautiful Christmas decor. The Victoria and Albert Museum’s free Friday Late nights are traditionally on the last Friday of every month. Of course, October’s party was halloween themed. Although the choice of DJs and costumes was questionable (but that might just be me not being a huge spook enthusiast), it simply must be great fun to have a pre-midnight wander through all collections with a glass of white wine in your hand! Can I see any of you thinking of Ben Stiller and the rest of his Hollywood crew now? Good people! Back to the V&A, I even spotted a painting of a castle (Eltz Castle near the Mosel river in Germany) from my tiniest village in the universe this time hometown, what a nice surprise!

As you probably know from Instagram, my heart mainly beats for burgers. And yes, after even TimeOut I’m a bit late to finally have tried out MeatLiquor in Marylebone, but who cares, their burger compositions are pretty much the finest thing on this planet! It also has a stunning interior. As they don’t do reservations, either get prepared for hours of standing in the queue or do it the smart way and pop in at about 11pm to kick off (or end) your well-deserved night out!

On Cake, Fashion and how these two come together

Usually, cake is not something you’d immediately link to fashion, is it? Let Them Eat Cake is not only a fancy online fashion magazine, but has also been the title of a panel discussion in Shoreditch. “Can Fashion media still make money?” – a question that’s been posed to a room full of fashion bloggers and Shoreditch hipsters in the framework of the ün-establishment pop-up space.

Panellists included Steve Salter, Isabelle O’Carroll and Jo Tulej – names which might sound familiar to those of you who call themselves fashionistas. I found the discussion itself interesting but not very progressive as it too often got stuck in the question “What does your blog have to look like in order for it to make money?” I expected a more serious debate on principles, e.g. what measures editors could to take in order to maintain a strong and successful hard copy of their publication.

It was however a very pleasant night! That was partly because the sponsor Kopparberg was extremely generous in taking care of all guests with bottles and bottles of cidre; partly because the final cake was nothing less than gorgeous and partly because it was in Shoreditch and therefore had a very interesting and hipsteresque audience. But be warned – you might want to get yourself some tea and a slice of cake before looking at the photos!

A not-so-regular Hackney night

The fascinating part about night itself is that a tiny bit of light makes things way more interesting than utter darkness would be otherwise. Light gives us a slight idea of what holds a city together or what makes it fall apart. When I went to Shoreditch last week, it was initially to see a gig and to have burgers (What else?!), however we ended up on a massive rooftop that gave us an even more massive view over London.

Netil House is a new space that’s used by photographers, designers and other creatives who regularly host special events for the public. This time it turned out to be a supper night lit by candles and some far away skyscraper lights… The view was absolutely stunning, but have a look yourself! Good luck with identifying houses and people, I’m well aware that these might be the darkest pictures I’ve taken in a while.

THIS IS BLN – AT NIGHT

In Friedrichshain nights seem to be endless – the good kind. When dancing, the atmosphere is ever so vibrant that you just wouldn’t get tired, obviously that has something to do with the kind of music you like… Luckily, night life in Berlin does not only include clubbing. How boring would that be!

There are breath-taking concerts, often you’d find small jamming sessions just a few metres away from the pub you’ve just been sipping cocktails in or Australian backpackers who can’t wait to get to know you and be best mates for a night… Enjoy!

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